Woo and His Children

We did get a blizzard last Tuesday night. There were about two hours of no visibility and impossible travel conditions, and Woo and Herbie were out driving in 1/2 hr of it.

We knew it was supposed to start snowing at 5pm, but didn't know the blizzard would immediately kick in.

Herbie and Woo were at the store and stopped to get gas before heading home. That's when the wind started, and almost immediately Woo couldn't see anything.

He couldn't see the road the entire way around the lake, but somehow made it around. He slid into a snowbank turning the corner by the library, and thought they were stuck for good, but was eventually able to get the car out.

A 5-10 minute ride took over 1/2 an hour. We were very glad to get them back.

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(Blissfully unaware of the blizzard to come ... )

Let's face it. Ruby's a bit of a klepto. She comes home from school with some little pencil, eraser, pen, barrette, some other kid's school work, etc. almost every day.

We've made her return the bigger items (a hat, a cell phone case...).

Actually, it's not so much that she's stealing, it's that she's very, very attentive to what's lying on the floor and ALL of it's treasure.

Woo and I were discussing it, when he realized (possibly for the first time?) that he'd been exactly the same way. He'd had two pencil boxes just crammed full of precious pencils and pens in his desk in first grade.
Me: I can't believe this!
Why didn't you tell me this before we got married?!
Woo: Sorry.
You should've known.
You've seen my mission scrapbook.
(Yes, it's full of "meaningful" trash he found on the street).    
That also explains why picking up litter is his (and Ruby's) favorite family home evening activity.

I know that everyone thinks that Herbie (and sometimes Linus) looks exactly like Woo, but I still think Moses is the one who looks the most like him.

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Moses has his body, and his walk, and a lot of his facial features. Usually when Moses is sitting on his lap, I see it the most.

Today Moses sat on Woo's lap in Sacrament meeting. They both wore three piece suits, they had hair the same length and tossled in almost the exact same way, the same head shape, etc.

And Moses will never be considered because his hair is a different color than Woo's ... maybe he'll be grateful for that someday?

Linus is still the kid who loves Woo the most, or at least he's the one who gets the most excited when he sees him. Once, while Linus was sitting on the floor, Woo lay down in front of him to do some work on the iPad. Linus broke into a huge, huge grin, and it didn't falter or change for like half an hour.
Woo: How can you smile so long, Linus?!
I don't even have the muscles in my face for that kind of work! 
No matter what Linus is doing, as soon as Woo enters the room, and he hears his voice, he has to turn and grin.

It's really annoying when he's nursing, but really cute otherwise.


Whew! (Part 1)

By far the worst week of the year in the life of a mother of young children is the week after daylight savings.

Those kids just CAN NOT let go and sleep in another hour!

Which wouldn't be so bad, if it didn't make them all incredibly grouchy. I've heard enough whining, crying, yelling and pestering to last a life time.

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Thursday was probably the worst day. In the morning I had three kids (and possibly four) crying at the same time over ridiculous things like twisted socks, and not being able to find backpacks that are in plain sight.

It's hard to know what to do because punishment just makes them feel worse, nothing (other than the sleep they're missing) will make them feel better, and I know they'll be normal in a few days.

By Thursday, though, we'd had enough and just started putting them to bed again at the old time. Ruby, Moses and Linus bounced back pretty quick. Herbie is still finding his groove.

Friday Ruby greeted me in the morning with,
I don't ever want to do another bad thing again, Mom!
I want to follow Jesus, and not be cut off from God's presence! 
("Cut off from God's presence" happens to be one of her favorite fall back answers to gospel questions.)
Me (wondering what had brought this on): That's great, Ruby.
She ran in to Woo and said the same thing.

A few minutes later she said that she didn't want to go to school.
Me: You don't have school today, Ruby.
We're going to parent teacher conference.
Aren't you excited?
Ruby: No.
On the way there, she said that there were things we couldn't talk to the teacher about, but would never say what they were. She hid behind me from her teacher, sat on my lap the whole time, and then it finally occurred to us that she was very nervous about what was going to be said about her.

Woo's promise of an ice cream eased her fears (and her repentant attitude, unfortunately).

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Herbie told me of a conversation that went on when the kids rode with Grandma and Grandpa.
Herbie: And then Grandma asked if Moses was cold.
He said no, and Grandpa said, "You were supposed to say 'es', Moses."
Herbie: (giggles)
Me: And did you laugh?
Herbie: No.
Nobody laughed. 
But, I was happy a little bit. 

Whew! (Part 2)

Before nap time one day, Moses asked me to tell a story of when I was a kid and went to the library. My story of wanting to learn French and checking out a book on French clearly was not entertaining enough because he sat up and growled,
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Tyson and his girlfriend came to dinner last night. He had Herbie and Moses convinced that he liked to drink toilet water. Both of them mentioned it in their prayers before bed, asking that Tyson would stop drinking toilet water.

In the morning they discussed it seriously.
Herbie: I hope Tyson isn't drinking toilet water right now.  
Moses: That's nasty! 
Linus really needs a bedroom to nap in. He's currently sleeping in the laundry room, which is right off the kitchen, which you have to walk through to go to the bathroom.

When he's supposed to be napping, his ears are tuned-in to the sound of anyone walking through there, and it prevents him from sleeping.

I think he only has a good morning nap, when the other kids and I leave the house for an hour or so.

The drywall in their bedrooms is done, and I can start priming tomorrow. Maybe he'll be sleeping up there by Christmas?

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Woo's had a horrible, no good, very bad week. It all started with a letter from "the Germans." Then a day or two later, he figured out why sales have been slipping. Basically, it's Google's fault.

Very frustrating.

After digging around for a solution for an hour or so, he gave up and went to bed.
I'm quitting!  
I'm never going to write another email!  
I'm never going to add another update! 
I'm just going to pay the Germans! 
I'm done!
After some silence,
I don't think you know how serious I am!
I'll admit I found the just-pay-the-Germans bit a little hard to swallow.

The next day I asked him,
So, did you write any emails today? 
Woo: Maybe. 
Me: Did you add any stations? 
Woo: Maybe.

(smiling) Are you calling me a liar ? 
It's hard to really give up on something you've worked so hard on for so long even when things get frustrating.

It was a Dark and Stormy Night ...

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Before nap time one day, Moses asked me to tell a story of when I was a kid and went to the library. My story of wanting to learn French and checking out a book on French clearly was not entertaining enough because he sat up and growled, "AND THEN A MONSTER COME!! AND THEN CANDY ... !!"

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Moses decided tonight that he wanted to go outside and jump on our new trampoline. He got on his coat and shoes and walked out the door.

It was dark and raining.

Woo looked out the window to see him doing a few jumps, falling flat on his face, getting up, jumping some more ...

After a little bit he came back in.

"Did you have fun, Moses?"


"Did you jump on the tramp?"


"Why did you come in, Moses?"

"I's scared. I's scared of the wind."


And He Crawls!

10 hrs after admitting at Linus' 9 month wellness checkup that he was not yet crawling, he whipped out a pretty aggressive army crawl right after dinner.

He graced our claps and cheers with a few smiles, but mostly seemed surprised that we would care at all, and pulled himself towards the next nearest object.

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We have absolutely no concern about him swallowing what he finds on the floor because he can't even get finger food to his mouth yet. He attempts it while at the table, but stops about an inch from his mouth, and then opens his mouth wider and wider expecting the cheerio to just fall in.

Josey suggests that too many muscles are blocking his movement.

brothers instagram christmas tree

This morning we got the car's safety and emissions tests done. Moses found a couple of those car classifieds magazines, and sat peacefully in a chair looking through them the entire time.

Moses is still very sweet, and has started to compliment us,
Linus is so cute! 
You's cute, Mom! 
You's nice!
while smiling his sweet little smile.

Herbie (and Ruby) really, really wanted a Boy Scout's of America belt like Woo's, and Herbie finally got one on Saturday. We got home just in time for bed, so he put the belt in a safe place in our bedroom for the night. First thing in the morning, he picked out and put on a special outfit for church based on the belt.
My belt is green, and my shirt is green.
I didn't have green pants, so I had to wear these brown ones.
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No one was more excited to see Linus crawl than Ruby.

She was all over him, encouraging him, getting him toys, giving him kisses, getting in his way, crawling with him, getting in the way of the camera...
Woo: I think we have video of every child learning to crawl and Ruby. 
And me saying, "Get out of the way, Ruby!" 
We've all been a bit irritable the last week, what with drywallers in and out of the house, the constant mess, and the time change.

I'll be happy when they're done and the kids aren't waking up an hour early.

We bought one fruit tree in time for fall planting. We wanted to plant it for Family Home Evening, but it was so dark and wet and cold, that just Woo went out in his flourescent orange, insulated jump suit, new cowboy boots and wool hat to dig the hole. The rest of us watched from the window.

We don't honestly have high hopes for survival, since a peach tree is what we planted, but at least we tried? Herbie told Woo that the tree was growing and looked bigger to him already, so we'll see.


When You're 18 (er, I mean, 64)

little boy on big wheel

I know you're expecting a Halloween email, but don't have much to write about it. We went to three Halloween parties this year (including Ruby's Kindergarten party). Ruby and Herbie were firemen. Moses was a worker. Pretty generic, but turned out to be great costumes for the pouring rain we ended up trick-or-treating in. Woo was a baby. Linus was a fire dog, and I'm still not sure what I was. 

Herbie frequently uses the age 18 to describe severe, decrepit, old age as illustrated in this conversation with Ruby.
Ruby: And then I'll be 6!

And then 7!

And then 8! (They giggle.)

Herbie: And then you'll be 18! (They laugh.)

Herbie: When you're 18, you can't walk!

You have to lie in your bed ALL the time!! (lots and lots of laughter).

Ruby's experiences at school have led her to make some comments on bum size ("Bum" is a bad word in Kindergarten, btw.)
Me: Ruby! Her bum isn't big! You just think everyone has a big bum because your bum is so little! 
Ruby: No, I don't! I think you have a little bum. And my uncle. 
Me: Your uncle? 
Ruby: T--. You and my Uncle T-- have little bums. 
Congratulations, T--?

Speaking of T--, I'm reminded of another story...

We were all out sitting on the front porch, when a man wearing skinny jeans and white patent leather shoes walked by. The kids watched him, fascinated, until he was out of sight.
Herbie (still looking after him): Mom...Why was that man wearing girl pants? 
And speaking of bad words, Moses has discovered that he can make his siblings laugh by saying all the bad words he/they know when they think I'm not listening.

Moses: Butt! (laughter) 
Crotch! (laughter) 
Hip-bum! (even more laughter...) 
I've tried to tell them that "hip-bum" is not a bad word, but no one believes me. Moses even sang a song one day that consisted of the sentence, "Hip-bum is a bad word!" over and over again. You'd think the fact that I didn't care at all that he was saying it would be some indication...

And lest you think my kids are always crude, I caught Herbie standing at a table, pretending to give a talk this week, "And when Jesus was 9 years old, He played games and had the Spirit. He played ring-around-the-rosy, and gospel truth, and hide-n-seek."

And the second we lose anything Moses always says, "Maybe we can pray about that!"

Linus is still winning everyone over where ever he goes. I can hear people whispering, "He's so cute!", "Look at his little tie!", "I love his cheeks!" all through church.

I've learned by now that no one is ever smiling at me, there always smiling at him. Linus will be 9 months next week, and he's still not crawling. Is that normal? I can't remember. He is getting up on his haunches and scooting backwards, but no moving forward yet.

He's eating everything except the wait-until-one and too-hard-too-chew foods, so I just usually feed him some of whatever I'm eating.

Woo's Dad came up Friday to help with the last of the insulation, and the drywall guys are coming tomorrow. Woo's almost excited, but I don't think he can quite believe it, and it's not like he gets to relax, but start work on the ooTunes iPad app, which is way overdue.

I finished the picture rail and hung up my first picture this week. Onward to the bedroom!

I hope you all had a great Halloween! Talk to you later!